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FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Frozen Raw Breaded Stuffed Chicken Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Enteritidis that may be associated with frozen, raw, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products. These items may be labeled "chicken cordon bleu", chicken with “broccoli and cheese”, or "chicken Kiev". This public health alert is being issued to remind consumers about the proper handling and cooking of raw poultry products.
FSIS is investigating a Salmonella Enteritidis illness cluster with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state partners. FSIS suspects that there may be a link between...
Technomic Reveals Steady Performance Improvement for U.S. Foodservice
Technomic released the April TIndex (Technomic Index), an index that provides a benchmark to help analysts and industry leaders track the health of the foodservice industry in the United States.
“For the month of April, the TIndex increased to 94.6 from 94.1 in March, showing strengthening results especially within the restaurant segments,” explains Joe Pawlak, managing principal at Technomic. “This represents the continued performance improvement and recovery of the industry as...
Retailers to State & Local Leaders: Clarity Needed on Mask Orders
Retailers are asking state governors and mayors to thoughtfully consider the practicality of state and local orders that track The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance announced last Thursday giving fully vaccinated individuals approval to resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask.
In a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Chairman of the National Governors Association and Mayor Greg Fischer, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and...
FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Ground Turkey Products Linked to Salmonella Hadar Illness
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for approximately 211,406 pounds of raw ground turkey products, produced by Plainville Brands, LLC, a Pennsylvania establishment, due to concerns the products may have caused Salmonella Hadar illness. A recall was not requested because it is believed that the products are no longer available for consumers to purchase.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. Retail locations that may...
Aramark Welcomes Fans Back to Sporting Events
As pro sports teams begin to welcome fans back, having fans in the stands for this season’s MLB Opening Day will take on added meaning for America’s Pastime. Whether it’s a ballpark, stadium or arena, Aramark, the leading food and beverage partner of major league sports teams, is meeting and exceeding the safety and hygiene standards required in today’s environment, while also improving the overall gameday dining experience, with new and proven solutions.
Innovative Solutions for Frictionless & Contactless Service
To create a safe, efficient and frictionless service experience for fans, Aramark’s continuous pipeline of testing and development of fan-friendly technology and innovative self-service concepts is proving to be a benefit for operating in today’s world and has paved the way for...
Update on USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic
In January 2021, President Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The plan is driven by science, data, and public health to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s fight against COVID-19 and to restore trust, accountability and a sense of common purpose in our response to the pandemic.
The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century. It is organized around seven goals...
Kroger Health Increases COVID-19 Vaccination Capacity to One Million Doses Per Week
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. announced it has significantly increased operational capacity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, achieving the ability to deliver one million doses per week through in-store pharmacies and clinics, and mass vaccination off-site events.
To vaccinate more Americans more quickly, Kroger Health will use the first hour of pharmacy operations as a focus hour assigned to administering the three FDA-authorized vaccines. Patients will continue to have the ability to schedule appointments for various times, but the morning focus hour will allow for additional COVID-19 vaccines to be administered. To accomplish the administration of one million doses per week, the plan requires...
NAMI Calls on Biden Administration to Ensure Meat and Poultry Workers are Vaccinated
As some states begin to vaccinate essential meat and poultry workers, The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today called for the Biden Administration’s help in ensuring all states prioritize these workers to receive the vaccine and its long-term protection from COVID-19.
Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts encouraged the White House to ensure all states prioritize vaccine access for the diverse meat and poultry workforce, which will also maximize health benefits in rural communities than can have limited health services.
“Some states like Kansas, Colorado and Iowa are working with meat and poultry companies to facilitate the vaccination of their frontline employees to ensure...
CDC Issues First Set of Guidelines on How Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Safely with Others
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.
The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and...
NRF Encourages Customers to Continue Wearing Masks in Stores Nationwide
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Bill Thorne in response to several states lifting mask mandates.
“Retail stores are private entities. If they require you to wear a mask in their stores, and you choose not to, that store can refuse admission or service. Retailers are private businesses, and it is within their right to implement and enforce policies that protect the health and the safety of their employees and their customers...
Walmart Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Drive to Reach More Residents in Vulnerable Communities
To drive higher vaccination rates in vulnerable communities by improving access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Walmart is creating a series of community events to administer the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing Walmart with allocation of the vaccine for this new effort, which Walmart is launching in partnership with local community leaders and nonprofit organizations.
These new events mark an expansion of Walmart’s role with the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and are supplementing Walmart’s ongoing vaccination program at more than 1,400 pharmacies nationwide in...
Walmart and Sam’s Club Pharmacies Administer COVID-19 Vaccines Through Federal Program
Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program on Feb. 12, 2021. More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states are receiving federal vaccine allocations this week, with an emphasis on locations that reach customers in underserved communities with limited access to health care. In addition to the 22 states, Walmart and Sam’s Club is also currently administering vaccinations under the state allocation in 11 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. While initial vaccine supply is limited, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists and technicians stand ready to help expand vaccine access across the country.
With 150 million customers and members passing through our doors each week, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists can safely and easily reach customers where...
New Program Assesses, Verifies Effectiveness of Tyson Foods’ COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Efforts
Tyson Foods, Inc. is piloting a new MATRIX MEDICAL NETWORK® (Matrix) program that assesses, addresses, verifies and monitors the effectiveness of the company’s efforts to protect workers from COVID-19.
More than a dozen Tyson Foods plant locations, including some of the company’s largest facilities, are participating. Six have already received safety verification and seven more are in the process of being assessed.
The MATRIX CERTIFICATION PROGRAM was developed in collaboration with CLEVELAND CLINIC, one of the nation’s largest health systems, and is designed to help verify and monitor that...
Food and Agricultural Workers Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccine Under Phase 1b
The devastating effects of the pandemic on food and agricultural workers were on full display during the early stage of COVID-19 in the U.S. last year. Several processing plants in the nation experienced complications related to the virus, impacting thousands of employees and upending the food supply chain.
Union representatives and the nation’s largest meat processors are pressing for food and agricultural workers to receive high priority for vaccinations. Phase 1a, the first priority group including...
Meat and Poultry Worker COVID-19 Case Rates Five Times Lower in December than May
New analysis of independent data for 2020 show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were five times lower in December than in May, while rates in the general population rocketed up by nine times in the same period.
According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 19.91 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per...
Tyson Foods Partners with Matrix to Ensure Employees have Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine
Tyson Foods is partnering with Matrix Medical Network, a leading clinical services company, to ensure the company’s U.S. team members are educated about and have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Matrix will collaborate with Tyson Foods’ health services team to deploy mobile health clinics and expert clinical staff to support vaccine communications, administration and counseling at Tyson Foods facilities beginning in early 2021 and continuing throughout the year. Tyson Foods will provide team members with...
HHS Announces $22 Billion in Funding to Support Expanded Testing, Vaccination Distribution
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two upcoming actions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide more than $22 billion in funding to states, localities, and territories in support of the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as directed by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Funding will provide critical support for testing and vaccination-related activities to jurisdictions before January 19, 2021...
Grocers Begin Offering the COVID-19 Vaccine
As shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine are being sent out around the United States, grocery chains are preparing to offer the vaccine through their pharmacies. Clearance for immunizations came in December, after the FDA authorized the use of the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE. The second vaccine to be authorized was developed by Moderna, which the FDA stated can be given to people 18 years of age and older and cited the shot's high effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 in a large clinical study.
Kroger announced it will provide the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide across its 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics, partnering with the federal government and state health departments to administer the vaccine in accordance with...
Anti-Meat Activist Poses as Smithfield Foods CEO on National Television
Last week, animal activist Matt Johnson of Direct Action Everywhere, posed as the CEO of Smithfield Foods during a national television interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. On December 23, 2020, Bartiromo thought she was speaking with Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ. However, she and her audience were being misled. During the interview, Johnson blamed animal agriculture for new infectious diseases and made false claims that the Centers for Disease Control has data proving that the livestock industry would...
COVID-19 Case Rates for Meat and Poultry Workers More than 8 Times Lower than General Population
New analysis of independent data for the full month of November show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were more than 8 times lower than rates in the general population.
According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (data), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 5.57 new cases per 100,000 workers per day in November. Infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers have declined steeply in the last six months, while...
CDC Agrees: Frontline Meat and Poultry Workers High Priority for COVID-19 Vaccination
Frontline meat and poultry workers should be amongst the first to be vaccinated after health care workers and those in long-term care facilities, according to federal guidance approved by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Priority (ACIP).
Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts applauded ACIP’s guidance and urged state governments to follow CDC’s decision:
"Priority access to vaccines is a critical step for the long-term safety of the selfless frontline meat and poultry workers who have...
Meat and Poultry Industry Calls for Prioritization of Workers to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
The meat industry is calling on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state governments to prioritize essential meat and poultry workers, their families, and co-habitants, for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1b of distribution.Perdue Farms has offered resources to assist the CDC and states in this effort, recognizing that a successful vaccine program will require a partnership between government and private industry. Perdue Farms mentioned that many meat and poultry industry workers, including its associates, live in one state but...
Confirmation of COVID-19 in a Snow Leopard at a Kentucky Zoo
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in a snow leopard at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky. This is the first snow leopard in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. Confirmatory testing is ongoing for two other snow leopards at the zoo.
Samples from three snow leopards were taken after they showed signs of respiratory illness. All three of the snow leopards are expected to fully recover. It is suspected that they acquired the infection from...
Trader Joe's Shares Information on COVID-19 Safety Practices and Positive Cases
As an essential business since the pandemic was declared, Trader Joe's has prioritized creating a safe working and shopping environment every day. To do this important work Trader Joe's has developed, and continues to develop, effective procedures that meet or exceed CDC guidelines to safeguard the health and safety of Crew Members and customers.
"The health and safety practices and procedures that have been put in place, and that continually evolve, have been effective because of the great work done by our Crew Members in every store, every day. We appreciate our Crew Members' diligence and our customers' patience as we...
Lidl to Install Hospital Grade Air Filters in All U.S. Stores to Prevent Spread of COVID-19
Following recently issued Centers for Disease Control guidelines stating that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through the air, Lidl US announced it will install new air filtration systems rated MERV 13 or higher in all of its U.S. stores by the end of this year. Air filters rated MERV 13 or higher, which are typically found in hospitals, help filter out COVID-19, according to public health and industry leaders.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to protect the health of everyone in our stores by meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines and this measure to create cleaner, healthier air is no different," said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US. "Customers and team members in Lidl stores can breathe easier knowing we have...
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